January 17, 2018

POSTED BY

Julia Fish

CATEGORY

The Understated Beauty of a Pencil Factory

new york sports branding graphic design firm

©Christopher Payne Even in a world increasingly dominated by everything digital, we owe so much the simplest of inventions: a pencil. The greatest ideas start off with graphite on paper, the most beautiful art and prose could not be anything without it. In a recent series, Christopher Payne, whose photographs …

new york sports branding graphic design firm
©Christopher Payne

Even in a world increasingly dominated by everything digital, we owe so much the simplest of inventions: a pencil. The greatest ideas start off with graphite on paper, the most beautiful art and prose could not be anything without it. In a recent series, Christopher Payne, whose photographs were recently featured in the New York Times Magazine in an article about one of the last pencil factories in the United States, artfully documents the breathtaking rhythm and order of a pencil factory.

The subject of Payne’s photographs is a factory called General Pencil located in Jersey City. General Pencil dates back to 1860 and produces a wide assortment of art supplies. Payne visited General Pencil many times to capture the different steps of pencil production, and the way his photographs capture the process is simply breathtaking. One of them has a composition reminiscent of Rothko with clean, rectangular planes of color. Some of the paintings that amaze me most are ones that look like photographs, but what draws me to many of Payne’s works are that they don’t look like photographs. The lines are too perfect, the colors too are crisp and clean, the compositions too perfect to be anything out of reality. But not only are they photographs rather than designs, they are pictures of something as mundane as a pencil.

Christopher Payne is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. He specializes in photographs of small factories, as well as architectural photography.

In fact, we were featured in No.2: A Story of the Pencil, a documentary that explored the history of the pencil, just in case you missed it.

new york sports branding graphic design firm

new york sports branding graphic design firm

new york sports branding graphic design firm
©Christopher Payne
new york sports branding graphic design firm
©Christopher Payne
new york sports branding graphic design firm
©Christopher Payne
new york sports branding graphic design firm
©Christopher Payne
new york sports branding graphic design firm
©Christopher Payne
new york sports branding graphic design firm
©Christopher Payne
new york sports branding graphic design firm
©Christopher Payne

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